Monday, November 02, 2009

Buy Ten, Get One Free?

I didn't know if I was going to write about this or not but after thinking long and hard about it, I have decided to. Why? Because 1) this post has been writing itself in my head all day and 2) I want to share my good news with friends and family :o)

Remember when I said I was trying to crawl out of a funk? Well, part of it was due to my annual mammogram that I had on October 22. As desperately as I tried not to think, worry or dwell on the appointment, it still had its usual impact on me. So much so that I thought I was going to pass out as I was driving to the hospital.

DH arrived minutes after I did, even though I told him I would be okay. He knows me better than I know myself and I was so grateful that he was there to comfort me. I was quite surprised when this mammogram went smoother than most and she didn't even have to call me back in. She warned me that it might take longer than usual to get the results and so I was prepared to wait until the end of November.

Yesterday morning, DH went to work and I was working at the computer when the phone rang. It was my doctor's office calling. She wanted to let me know that my mammogram came back fine :o) Wait a minute...wasn't yesterday Sunday? Yup. She took me by such surprise that I didn't even have time to let fear enter the picture. She was short and sweet and I hung up the phone with a smile on my face :o)

So...even though, technically, my anniversary date isn't until February 4, 2010, I just had my tenth mammogram and therefore that means that I have been cancer free for nine years, eight months and twenty-nine days! At first I was really happy and then the mixed emotions started. How can I be happy when so many other women are going through what I went through and even worse? Is it right that I am happy to have made it ten years?

The doctors always said that if I made it to five years, I would be okay; that my chances of a reoccurrence would be the same as anyone else. At the time (not knowing all the facts of my situation), that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted at least ten. I prayed for ten more years and if I was lucky enough to get that far, then I believed I would be fine. But it seems that my little mind doesn't think in easy or straightforward terms.

Yes, I have been one of the lucky ones and made it ten years without a reoccurrence. But...does that mean that next year when I have my eleventh mammogram, something will go wrong? All these years I was focussing on the tenth mammogram when in reality, maybe I should really be worried about the eleventh. DH's reaction? I've over thought the situation. And he's probably right.

I've been raking my brain trying to decide what to do for my tenth anniversary. DH says it's an important one and I agree. I commemorated my fifth anniversary with a pink ribbon tattoo above my ankle. For my eighth anniversary I held a Pink Party (which was a blast btw) but this warrants something bigger and better. Do I do something for myself or do I try to come up with something to help others? Again, I was one of the lucky ones. I had two Guardian Angels on my shoulders and if it weren't for my Gram and DH, who knows if I would still be here today. I owe them everything.

What do you think I should do? Am I premature in celebrating? Is it right that I want to be happy to have gotten through one of the worst things in my life? Put yourself in my shoes and share with me what you would do. Go as far out there as you want because I'm open to ideas :o)


28 comments:

Parsley said...

Having my closest friend pass away from breast cancer last year, this really hits home. Thank God you are still clear! It is truly a time to celebrate.

Hmmm...how about getting a pink streak in your hair to celebrate?

Again...I celebrate with you and am happy for your good news.

Irene said...

Congratulations on 10 years ! I love jewellery, so I would get a ring/bracelet, something to wear for always knowing how far you have come. As for others going through what you have, maybe volunteer, I know if I were going through it I would want to hear from a 10 year survivor. Who knows, your words might give them the courage they may not get elsewhere.

Harmien said...

CELEBRATE!!! Be Happy! Shout it from the rooftops! The 11th will probably be just as scary as all the others, but celebrate today...

Rachael said...

Oh Hunny I am so pleased for you and of course you should celebrate, if others got the all clear they would do exactly the same and wouldn't feel ill of you for enjoying the life you have. As for celebrating I would probably go on a trip of a lifetime, maybe do a list of things I have always wanted to do and try and do most of them. Things like balloon rides, driving a racing car very fast,visiting Australia/New Zealand. and so on I could go on all day.
I hope you find the perfect way to celebrate for you! ((Hugs))

Danielle said...

I believe you have every right to think however you want to think about it, however, worrying is not going to prevent anything from happening or not happening, you know? So, just take one day at a time and enjoy it. I think it's fantastic that you've gotten through 10 years with no recurrence.

As for your celebration, can you take a trip and only wear pink the whole time? Or donate some of your time to some breast cancer charities? I believe you should do both, give back and do something for yourself, even if it's just as simple as taking a day for yourself and not getting out of your pajamas and watching/stitching/eating and doing whatever YOU want all day long.

Chiloe said...

I don't know what I would do (or maybe you should celebrate with a trip abroad - in the sun - to celebrate life !!! ) but we sure count the year with Pierre as well. We haven't reach 10 years yet and I'm still afraid it may come back. Your case gives hope and people need hope. I'm very happy for you !!!!!!!! Let uis know how you are going to celebrate it !!!

Let's dance now !!!!!!!! Woohoo !!!!

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

Wow, congrats to you! & your DH!
I really believe that every day we live is a gift. I am sure you will find the right celebration and enjoy it to the max, remember,,,keep your fork,,,, the best is yet to come.
Be always in stitches.

Heather said...

You should be dancing in the sun. Every day , every week, every year should be celebrated for you.
I would plan a tree, something that you could watch grow and mark the years passing

Kat said...

Celebrating life is NEVER premature. Congratulations!

Karen said...

congratulations, you and DH should celebrate do something special

Shannon said...

Every day is a day worth celebrating. And every accomplishment is worthy of a celebration. This is certainly worthy of celebrating. I'd say celebrate today, and celebrate on your official anniversary. And every day in between. You deserve it.

Breathe easy, friend. Lock the worries in a box for another day.

Alberta said...

CELEBRATE!

That is wonderful news to hear. How nice of them to let you know the happy results on a Sunday. :)

Rachel S said...

I say Celebrate.

Daffycat said...

Premature in celebrating? Hell no! You should throw a party every day if you feel like it!

Is this survivor's guilt I hear?...screw that. You are alive and you deserve to be happy. You are one of the kindest, sweetest, nicest people I know. You do whatever makes YOU happy. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks.

***HUGS***

Daffycat said...

Oh yeah...and congratulations on the fantastically great news!

mumzy said...

Cathey, Sweetie, Dad and I are so very proud of you and we know the last ten years have not been easy for you. With each anniversary, I know that you are thankful for another cancer-free year with your wonderful DH.

Knowing you, I'm sure you will find the right way to celebrate and you know whatever you decide, we are 100% behind you.

I was very excited to hear your good news and I say CELEBRATE in a huge way.

{{{Hugs and Love}}}
Mom

Raven/Missy said...

Definitely celebrate! If I were in your shoes I would celebrate! Yes it is right that you are happy to have made it 10 years. You can be happy for yourself and still be compassionte for others.

I have an intense family history of breast cancer. All the women on both sides of my biological relatives died of breast cancer before age 45. My maternal grandmother died at 31 and my biological mother died at 42. For me I will get breast cancer its just a matter of when. So yes if I were in your shoes I would celebrate that victory!

How about something similar to the pink party and people donate money to breast cancer research? Maybe hold an auction of craft items with the proceeds going to research?

Congratulations on your anniversary!

Jennifer said...

Be honest - there are times when I am sure you never thought you'd make it 10 days, let alone 10 years. Every single day is a gift for everyone, but people that have gone through what you did are more aware of how precious that gift is. You ABSOLUTELY must celebrate it. I agree that a trip is in order, but I also really like the idea of sharing your story with others - who knows how many women you can support and encourage? I think hearing from someone who has made it 10 years would really do a lot for them.

and a BIG HUG from me to you!!!

Siobhan said...

Dance in the streets. Celebrate life. Congratulations. :) I am so happy for you.

Annie said...

Yippee! Major celebration time. And you might as well celebrate every single day. Congrats on this milestone and may you have many many more happy ones just like it.

Ranae said...

Celebrate! baby! Celebrate!
Go big!!!!!

zoomcity said...

Cathey, that's so wonderful!! I'm ever so pleased you're celebrating with us. *happy sigh*

Cindy said...

That's great news...and you should definitely celebrate!

I think that you need to have DH take you to Vegas to see JBJ in March ;)

♥ Nia said...

I'm happy for you!!! :D
Celebrate!! Celebrate every single day!! :)
Your happiness will encourage others! Don't fell bad for sharing it! :D
Be happy!!! Big hug to you! =)

Aussie Stitcher said...

This certainly calls for a celebration. I think something for yourself, perhaps a hot air balloon ride???? I loved the pumpkin day freebie, very cute. Congratulations Cathey, on reaching such a milestone. ((((HUGS))))

Brigitte said...

What wonderful, good news. What a great reason to celebrate. Celebrate it to the fullest.
One of my students is fighting against cancer at the moment. I hope that one day he'll be able to celebrate like you.

Sharon said...

Congratulations Cathey on such a momentous anniversary! Jewelry would work great to commemorate this time or a special trip or do something you haven't done that you have always wanted to do. The world is yours! Can't wait to hear what you decide on!

Lili said...

Celebrate each and every year for the fourty years to come. At least. Celebrate life, enjoy it, make the most of it. You will be a very beautiful old woman some day, just as you are a very beautiful young woman today. And when you are old, my wish is that you and your DH can look back and say what a wonderful life, filled with love and simple pleasures, you have both lived together. You do it for yourself, and you do it for the ones who have helped you through.
A billion hugs to a beautiful sensitive pumpkin.
Lili